Students don't automatically know how to use the library!
If your students need to do research, whether for a formal paper, a speech, or a group project, they will benefit from some instruction in how to access library resources. Research shows that best time to provide library instruction is shortly after the research assignment has been provided and explained to the students, and after they have had some time to think of some topics.
We have several different ways of providing instruction in library skills, even for classes that are being taught online. See the Delivery Options box (below) for information about how we can work with your class to help them succeed!
Faculty who wish to schedule a library instruction session in an in-person class should fill out the Library Instruction Request Form.
Sessions are tailored to specific needs of a class:
Online modules covering basic concepts of research and information use
The library is in the process of developing a series of library instruction sessions that will be delivered synchronously for online courses and students. Each workshop will address elements of library research typically covered in classroom based library instruction sessions - accessing the databases and doing a basic search, how to broaden or narrow the results, how to identify scholarly articles, etc. Sessions will be scheduled at a variety of times with the same content repeated, so that students can attend the session that best fits their schedule.
LIBR 5 - Research Skills
Library 5 is the library's for-credit course in the research skills students need to succeed in college and daily life. Taught by the library faculty, this course gives students the hands-on skills they need as well as the conceptual framework and critical thinking skills needed to adapt to the changing information landscape in the modern age.
When the class meets in a computer lab, sessions are delivered as workshops with most of the class time devoted to hands on practice and students should ideally come away from the session with some concrete results that they can really use. If the students have two or three topics that they are considering, the workshop can be a great opportunity for them to experiment, with expert librarian and teaching faculty guidance, and settle on their final topic, with confidence that it will work for them and they will be able to find enough good quality material to succeed. Many students should be able to leave the session with much of their searching, collecting, saving, and citing already completed.
LRC 103 is a computer lab in the LRC with 24 computer stations. Library instruction sessions can be scheduled in LRC 103 on a very limited basis. If you would like to check the availability of LRC 103 for your library instruction session, please contact the library staff.
Library instruction sessions can cover any of the following:
Some faculty prefer to offer their students library instruction spread over two sessions.
First Session: The first session can be provided before the assignment or topics have been chosen. It is an introduction to the library and the librarians, how to search for topic ideas and get background information from reference sources such as CREDO Reference, Britannica Online, and the Internet.
Second Session: The second session dives into search strategies in the databases, finding specific, technical, and expert sources, saving, printing, emailing, setting up bibliographies and citations.
Each session takes about one hour. If the class is able to meet in a computer lab, much of the time will provide a hands-on workshop with guidance from the librarian and the class instructor. The librarian can help with strategies and search difficulties, the teaching faculty can help with topic ideas, scope and relevance to the assignment, ways to approach or develop the topic into a good paper or presentation.